THE NIXONS by Edwin P. Hoyt


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With one-third devoted to direct Nixon family forebears, one-third to the Milhous line, and the final third to Richard Nixon's life, this comfortable and essentially sympathetic ""story of an ordinary American family"" which attempts to delineate ""the two dominant strains in the making of the President, genealogically speaking"" doesn't tell us anything new about young Dick or mature Richard but, for those interested, the progenitors are well covered here. Hoyt, who might without disrespect be termed a chronic writer of books (novels; many juvenile biographies; The Space Dealers, 1971; Your Health Insurance, 1970; The Goulds, 1969; Alexander Woollcott, 1968; The House of Morgan, 1967; etc.), has plumbed the requisite archives, resulting in knobby little sketches of the male ancestry: James Nixon who immigrated from Ireland and was a slaveholder, his son George who fought in the Revolutionary War, George III who died in the Civil War at Gettysburg with a Minie ball in the abdomen, grandfather Samuel, and father Frank who settled in Whittier; on the Milhous side, a long line of Quakers from Thomas to William, ""worldly"" Joshua, and Frank who begat Hannah. The genealogical dig, however, peters out in the application; about all Hoyt can wring from it is that Nixon's ""piety"" (e.g., ""the statement on abortion"" -- the one Roth had such fun with in Our Gang) derives from the Milhouses and that he inherited his scrappiness and competitive spirit from the Nixons. . . . ""The independence came from both sides."" This lacks the analytical depth and dimension of Mazlish's In Search of Nixon (scheduled for publication later this month, p. 304) which is the Nixon book of the spring season.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1972
Publisher: Random House